How should a B2B lead generation team be organised? What tasks need to be completed? What can be covered in house and what should be outsourced?
The first step is to identify precisely what exactly should be classified as a lead and at what point they should be passed through to sales. It is crucial this is agreed between sales and marketing at an early stage to prevent problems, and potential finger pointing, at a later stage.
The next step for the lead generation team is to decide what tactics, both online and offline, will be used to generate those leads. Wherever possible that decision should be based on solid analysis of what has worked well (and not) in the past.
Whatever tactics are built into the lead generation process it is probable content will be the fuel for that process. Content should build credibility and deliver the information the customer decision making team need to make their purchasing decision.
A well designed process will both generate high quality sales leads and help the sales department progress an opportunity to the point of sale. However, to build an appropriate content marketing process is challenging and requires significant time and effort. Typical problems faced by any B2B lead generation team involved in content marketing include (priority order)
- Producing enough content
- Producing engaging content
- Delivering enough variety
- Inability to measure cost effectiveness
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of time
To construct the best B2B lead generation team it is first important to identify what tasks are required, decide who is best to take on each task then allocate accordingly. Nobody can know the business, what it stands for its customers and market better than the business owners, senior managers and employees so nobody is better placed to generate content.
If the in house marketing department is inexperienced in inbound marketing, external short term support in the form of a mentor or outsourced marketing department can help. Often, external support or guidance may help in building the all important inbound marketing strategy and plan.
The sales department is crucial to success. It is important to integrate them into the process as they are best placed to identify what information is required by customers and prospects and at what point in the process. They will also have an important view on the best delivery methods and how to engage and deliver variety.
An experienced editor in chief (be they in house or external) is important to undercover and modify existing sources of content, combine them with new content and deliver consistently against the content marketing plan.
If the required content marketing skills reside in house then organising effectively is normally simply a process of allocating tasks and ensuring the sales department are integrated effectively. However, in most cases some key skills will be missing that may be filled by outsourcing to a specialist as a specific task or by taking on a mentor. Where external parties are used it is important to acquire from them the appropriate skills so they are only required on a short to medium term basis.